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The Bureau of Noncompetitive Research

The Bureau of Noncompetitive Research

Friday, Nov 3 , 1 p.m. to Sunday, Mar 10 , 5 p.m.

PHI Foundation
465 Saint-Jean Street
Education Room (SS01)

Opening Hours
Thursdays from 1 PM to 5 PM

Free admission

The Bureau of Noncompetitive Research is a public engagement project by the collective of the same name. Taking place in the PHI Foundation’s Education Room, the project runs from November 3, 2023, to March 10, 2024, in conjunction with the presentation of the exhibition Rirkrit Tiravanija: JOUEZ/PLAY.

For this project, the Education Room fulfills a prophecy foretold by its always-running central AC, its suspended ceiling, and its grid of fluorescent lights; it has been fully transformed into an office space, complete with printer and coffee stations, a boardroom table, and workstations. 

This room, which welcomes our Education groups, will be activated by a durational performance carried out by the three members of the collective, who will be using it regularly as a workspace for the next few months. It will also serve as a creative meeting place for our public, who will be invited to take part in a variety of events and workshops, including the creation of demotivational posters and a happy-hour artist talk. 

If this newly furnished room offers a sharp contrast to the architectural fantasies of the design-y open-concept floor plan (or the cozy home office setup), it is a nod to the persistence of this sterile and alienating environment as a setting in popular culture, especially in comedies—think of the 1999 film Office Space, or the UK and US versions of the television series The Office. In this mode, the office becomes a site of the absurd, in which is enacted a perpetual role play; where one is simultaneously manager and managed, boss and employee, active and passive, idle and busy. 

By parodying these standardized environments and roles, the Bureau of Noncompetitive Research proposes a transformation of the office space from a site of detached labour to one of critical resistance. Just as the collective’s projects offer a sly critique of some of the values that seem to guide the contemporary art milieu today—hyperproductivity and hypervisibility, commodification, entrepreneurship—so too are they committed to exploring other forms of labour, guided by an ethos of slowness, play, collaboration, and exchange.

Curator: Daniel Fiset

This public engagement project is presented with the support of the SDC Vieux-Montréal.

Date and Time

Friday, Nov 3 , 1 p.m. to Sunday, Mar 10 , 5 p.m.


Fondation PHI pour l’art contemporain, Rue Saint-Jean, Montreal, QC